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July 22, 2011

On the Cause of Turkish-Israeli Tensions

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Professor Efraim Inbar's explains his thoughts on the reason for Israeli-Turkish tensions — thoughts that contrast with the overly-simplistic media narrative that casts that the Mavi Marmara incident as the primary reason for the deterioration of the relationship between the former allies:

Even a UN investigation (the Palmer Committee) dealing with the issue has apparently concluded that Israel’s actions were perfectly legal – much to Turkey’s chagrin. Moreover, the Turks on the ship were provocateurs, members of a terrorist organization, and violently resisted a legal attempt to take over the ship. As a matter of fact, Jerusalem deserves an apology and compensation.

Yet justice is not always triumphant and/or relevant in international relations. Indeed, Defense Minister Ehud Barak is reportedly willing to bow to Turkish demands, not because justice is on the Turkish side, but because he thinks that only an apology can repair Israeli-Turkish relations.

While good relations with Turkey are indeed quite valuable, the deterioration in relations is not due to Israeli actions in the Arab-Israeli arena or elsewhere, but to a major reorientation in Turkish foreign policy under the ruling Islamist AKP party.

More details in Inbar's Jerusalem Post column.

Posted by at July 22, 2011 11:55 AM


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